“I’ve got to be the very best.”
“What will people think of me?”
“I’m a perfectionist.”
The journey towards perfection is exhausting. It’s also an impossible journey. Our society is obsessed with a culture centered around achievements and accomplishments. That is how a successful life is measured – how MUCH did you accomplish and at WHAT cost?
A lot of times, we view “perfection” as the epitome of success. Perfection is also constructed as someone/something “without failure.” If we are at the highest peak of success, we don’t have to even think about failure as an option. I mean, who doesn’t want to strive to be their best self?
For ten years, my personal life and career were entirely focused on this idea of perfection. The harder I worked, the better chance I had at being successful. It seemed to make perfect sense to me.
One day (it was a Wednesday), I woke up at 2:37 a.m. and made my way to work in the pitch black dark of night. I thought if I got a HUGE head start to my day, nothing could go wrong. I was going to change my business for the better.
My personal mantra consisted of: “Successful people do what others are not willing to do.” I was doing a great job – getting to work well before anyone else with my Venti Vanilla Latte with two extra espresso shots in tow. I was going to create the very best business plan for my sales team that was going to skyrocket my business.
With not another soul in the parking lot when I arrived at work that day, I truly thought that no one wanted to be as successful as me. As perfect as I was. And I ran with it. I worked purely with perfection, adrenaline, and sugar on my side. Nothing could go wrong. I was doing what others were not willing to do – that counted for EVERYTHING.
There’s a reason others don’t have perfection, adrenaline, and sugar as their only fuel source.
Can you guess what happened next…? I physically collapsed in my bathroom at home – at 27 years old.
What if I had died right then and there? Would I had been happy with how I chose to live my life? Was I proud of who I turned out to be?
When our life is controlled by these unrelenting ideas, we are actually living the very OPPOSITE of being our best self. Personal growth, personal development, and self-care cannot be achieved when our goal is perfection.
Can you imagine looking at the most beautiful sunset and thinking it just needed to be a little bit brighter…?
We don’t think like that! We should hold ourselves to the same standard. It’s hard to not hold ourselves in the highest regard possible. But my personal goal is to continue to strive for progress every step of the way.
My challenge for you is to strive for PROGRESS – not perfection.
Mindfulness is a large part of my life, and I always take time out of my day to be with my thoughts. I think the closest thing to “perfection” is allowing yourself to live in the present moment. And do you know what perfectionists NEVER do…? Perfectionists are thinking about everything BUT the present moment!
Perfection is unattainable.
Don’t let the world’s expectations for you hold you back from what you can achieve and accomplish within every day. Stop and take five minutes. Create mini goals for your morning. What would make you feel productive just within this hour? That could be as simple as getting your coffee in before 9 a.m. Baby steps are still steps. Progress is still accomplishing.
Continue to strive for progress, and live in the moment. Only then can you conquer the day, the week, the year and become the best version of yourself.
In the meantime, Keep Living the Dream…